People Are Going to Go Hungry, That’s the Truth: Pandemic Effects Could Leave 54 Millions Americans Without Food

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A record number of Americans will face hunger this year.

The catastrophic economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic is set to leave tens of millions of people unable to buy enough food to feed their families.

hunger food shortage coronavirus pandemic usa
People wait to receive a food bank donation at the Barclays Center in New York. Photograph: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Nationwide, the demand for aid at food banks and pantries has soared since the virus forced the economy to be shutdown, resulting in more than 40m new unemployment benefit claims, according to the latest figures.

As a result, an estimated one in four children, the equivalent of 18 million minors, could need food aid this year – a 63% increase compared to 2018.

Overall, about 54 million people across the US could go hungry without help from food banks, food stamps and other aid, according to an analysis by Feeding America

America’s food insecurity

America’s food insecurity crisis was dire even before the Covid-19 pandemic, when at least 37 million people lived in households without adequate resources to guarantee consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.

Food insecurity varies vastly from state to state, and county to county, and had only recently fallen to pre-Great Recession levels. The current crisis will almost certainly reverse hard-fought for improvements, and exacerbate existing inequalities. 

It’s the deep south where the economic impact and food insecurity will probably penetrate deepest: more than 11 million people in the states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas and Tennessee are projected to suffer food insecurity in 2020.

The projections assume a national annual unemployment rate of 11.5% – 7.6 percentage points higher than 2018 – and a national annual poverty rate of 16.6% – 4.8 points higher than 2018.

food insecurity usa map, Map of the projected food insecurity across the USA
Map of the projected food insecurity across the USA.

Mississippi

In Mississippi, proportionately the worst-affected state before and since the pandemic, almost three-quarters of a million people could need food aid this year, including one in every three children. 

Nevada

Further west, tourist mecca Las Vegas is bracing itself for tough times as even the casinos, hotels and restaurants which survive the shutdown will take months to fully reopen.

We were on the precipice of being the first food bank to meet the meal gap but we just don’t have the food sources to meet this sudden, dramatic increase. We have to completely retool our organization to accommodate this,” said Larry Scott, chief operating officer of the Three Square food bank in the city.

Here, about 65% more food aid will be needed to stop people from going hungry: one of the biggest jumps in the country. “People are going to go hungry, that’s the truth,” said Scott.

The situation looks dire statewide: one in three children and one in five adults in Nevada are projected to suffer from food insecurity this year – a rise of almost 60% since 2018. 

Why? The Nevada jobless figure is higher than any state ever, including during the Great Depression, signaling an extraordinary turnabout in fortune after unemployment hit an all-time-low in February.

This pandemic continues to impact the lives and livelihoods of our neighbors nationwide, putting millions of additional people at risk of hunger while continuing to hurt people already familiar with hardship,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America.

Arizona

On Thursday in Tucson, Arizona, 1,400 or so cars lined up at a mobile distribution point, which was open for three hours, for grocery boxes of canned fruits, pinto beans, pasta, milk, fresh vegetables, frozen meat and bread, to help make ends meet for a month.

Historically, there was a shortfall of 34m meals every year in the five counties served by the Community Food Bank of southern Arizona. Currently, the demand remains sky high – double pre-pandemic levels, and statewide 17% of the workforce have claimed unemployment since the start of the crisis.

We were getting darn close to closing the meal gap before the crisis,” said Michael McDonald, the CEO. “But if demand continues at this rate for the rest of the year or into next year, we’re going to fall way short. I don’t see us being able to keep up without a longer-term commitment from the federal government.

One in three children in Arizona could go hungry this year without food aid. 

Food banks aren’t in it alone

Record numbers of people have applied for food stamps, and advocates are pushing for the bump in how much people receive to be included in the next federal relief package, pointing to individual and wider economic benefits. Research shows that every $1bn spent on food stamps results in $1.54bn being added to gross domestic product.

In addition, the US department of agriculture (USDA)’s $3bn coronavirus Farmers to Families Food Box programme has started delivering truckloads of surplus perishable produce like milk, meat and vegetables to food banks and pantries. 

But it’s unclear how long this and other federal aid will last, which is causing advocates sleepless nights.

Massachusetts

Everything feels so unpredictable, I’ve literally no idea what’s going to happen in three months, and we got the short end of the stick from the USDA,” said Christina Maxwell, director of programs at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. 

In this region, one in six is expected to suffer food insecurity in 2020 – a 50% rise due to Covid-19, with predominantly black and brown urban areas hardest hit. Only a tiny fraction of the USDA contracts went to distributors in New England.

As states start to reopen for business, economic recovery is expected to be painfully slow especially if further outbreaks are not adequately contained, which could trigger a full-blown second wave of the pandemic. Underemployment could last for years, which means millions of Americans are likely to need help with food, utilities and rent in the medium and long term.

California

Los Angeles county, where almost half the state of California’s Covid-19 cases have been confirmed, is projected to have 1.68 million food insecure people this year – the highest number in the country. It’s the most populous county in the US, with 10 million residents, where unemployment has risen to 20.3% – five percentage points higher than the state average – and food stamp applications have almost tripled compared with last year. 

If the numbers stay like this, no way food banks can cope, it’s beyond our capabilities, a lot will depend on how long federal help lasts,” said Michael Flood, president of the Los Angeles Food Bank, which has distributed 80% more groceries since the pandemic began. 

Susan King, president of Feeding Northeast Florida, agrees: “It’s when the dust settles that I’m most worried about, when the federal and state help is over but the line of people waiting for food is still long.

King added: “This is a marathon, we can’t sugarcoat how scary it is; it absolutely keeps me up at night.

More societal collapse headlines on Strange Sounds and Steve Quayle. [Guardian]

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I really appreciate Steve Quayle’s an strangesounds websites. Steve’s website beats out the Drudge report by miles. Strange Sounds reports on everything no one thought to think about: super informative. Thank you for both websites. Very cool!!!

  2. It is believed over 30 million illegal aliens are in America. Round up as many as possible as quickly as possible and send the illegals back to their home countries immediately. Less illegal mouths to feed leaves more of America’s limited food supplies to feed AMERICANS.

  3. Well , we love Jason A you tube and Strange sounds and Steve Quayle and Jeff Rense and Alex Jones and freeradio, RBN network. 54 Million people are hungry , so 54 Million Army of Hungry people will loot and destroy everything . We need House of Senate approve 1500 for each Americans package. House of rep is already approved. We need UBI for all people of USA 1200-1500 each up to 2000 each so people can not be hungry. DR Martin Luter King said best thing is pay all Americans UBI? Stop War with China pay USA citiens UBI?
    NO MORE WAR WE WANT PEACE?

  4. Shocking Evidence That Indicates That Somebody Is Trying To Orchestrate An Internal Uprising Inside The United States
    June 1, 2020
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    Violence has erupted in major cities all over America yet again today, and we are being told to brace ourselves for more rioting, looting and civil unrest in the days ahead. The death of George Floyd was a great tragedy, and the vast majority of Americans agree that we do not want to see that sort of police brutality in our nation, and so this should actually be a moment that brings our country together. But instead, America is being torn apart. The protests against police brutality have been hijacked by sinister forces, and they are attempting to channel the outrage over George Floyd’s death in a very violent direction. As you will see below, law enforcement authorities all over the U.S. are telling us that they have identified a highly organized effort to orchestrate violence, and this appears to be happening on a nationwide basis.

    Let’s start by looking at what is happening in New York. According to the top terrorism official in the entire city, “certain anarchist groups” were making preparations for “violent interactions with police” before protests in the city even began…

    On Sunday night, New York’s top terrorism cop, Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller, detailed his office’s analysis and investigation into why the New York City protests have become so violent and damaging at times.

    “No. 1, before the protests began,” Miller said, “organizers of certain anarchist groups set out to raise bail money and people who would be responsible to be raising bail money, they set out to recruit medics and medical teams with gear to deploy in anticipation of violent interactions with police.”

    And once the protests started, these groups used “a complex network of bicycle scouts” to direct rioters to locations where police officers would not be present…

    “And they developed a complex network of bicycle scouts to move ahead of demonstrators in different directions of where police were and where police were not for purposes of being able to direct groups from the larger group to places where they could commit acts of vandalism including the torching of police vehicles and Molotov cocktails where they thought officers would not be.”

    These are not just mindless angry mobs. They are being directed with a purpose, and that is very alarming.

    In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has publicly acknowledged that there has been “an organized effort” to turn the protests over George Floyd’s death “into something violent” in her city…

    Speaking at an afternoon news conference today with other officials, Lightfoot didn’t say whether the groups are out-of-state left-wing anti-fascist organizations generally known as Antifa, right-wing agitators, local street gangs or something else. She said she’s asked three federal agencies—the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives and the U.S. Attorney’s office—for help, with a focus on AFT’s bomb and arson unit.

    “There is no doubt. This was an organized effort last night,” she said. “There were clearly efforts to subvert the peaceful process and make it into something violent.”

    Lightfoot did not really elaborate on why she believes there has been “an organized effort”, but officials in other cities have been willing to give the public more specifics.

    For example, law enforcement authorities in Minnesota have discovered “several caches of flammable materials” that were obviously intended to be used for rioting…

    Earlier Sunday, state officials said several caches of flammable materials were found both in neighborhoods where there have already been fires and “in cars we’ve stopped as recently as this morning,” said John Harrington, state public safety commissioner. Some of the caches look like they may have been planted days ago and some only in the last 24 hours or so, he said.

    Police are also finding stolen vehicles with plates removed that are being used to transport the flammable materials. Looted goods and weapons also have been found in the stolen cars, he said.

    And in several other cities around the nation, law enforcement authorities have found bricks staged at or near protest sites.

    On Sunday, police in Kansas City announced that they had found “stashes of bricks and rocks in & around the Plaza and Westport to be used during a riot”…

    Kansas City police officers found bricks and rocks staged near protest sites around the city, stoking concerns that individuals or groups had pre-planned looting and destruction that hit the city over the weekend, the department said Sunday.

    “We have learned of & discovered stashes of bricks and rocks in & around the Plaza and Westport to be used during a riot,” the department said in a tweet on Sunday.

    And in Baltimore, law enforcement officials were racing to dismantle “mounds of bricks and bottles” that had been staged in downtown Baltimore…

    According to sources, mounds of bricks and bottles have been found in Downtown Baltimore.

    Baltimore Police confirmed they are working with law enforcement partners to sweep the area.

    There are several demonstrations planned for Monday evening. Sources told Fox 45 officers are being briefed on the situation during roll call.

    In New York, a “cache of bricks” just happened to be sitting directly in the path of rioters on Sunday evening…

    Similarly, in New York City, video captured the moment rioters in Manhattan chanced upon a cache of bricks between St. Marks Place and Seventh Street in the East Village on Sunday evening, though no construction site appeared to be nearby.

    Even down in Texas, “a large pile of bricks” was stacked up in front of the courthouse in Dallas and huge stacks of bricks were pre-staged right along a path that protesters would be taking in Frisco.

    I don’t know about you, but I have a very hard time believing that all? Disclaimer always apply , we journalist are always under attack by terrorist governments. Special time that all world are under attack. India soldiers took 10 Chinese soldiers bit them in India then suddenly Chinese army came over run them and took them prison of wars? Still i ask all to empty all freeways and streets so looters or army of hunger people in USA can not loot any more. Please see movie Golden Veil from any amazon it is
    truth based story. Now strange sounds knows right at your movie i told you 6 months ago now make sense?

  5. From Child Marriage to Child Murder

    Although this is not the first time that a horrific incident hurts public sentiment in the Iranian society, the tragic murder of Romina, an innocent girl who was a double victim of her family’s prejudice on the one hand and Iran’s medieval laws on the other, can be analyzed from several angles. Before dissecting this tragedy, let us first address the social context in which it occurred. For this purpose, two points must be considered. First, if it is possible to confirm the claim that Khavari, Romina’s suitor, ignited her father’s anger after he showed him a photo of themselves in private, then his indirect role in this tragedy cannot be ignored.

    The second point is the responsibility of the judge and the police force, which, after Romina’s release from temporary detention and despite her begging, handed her over to her father. Instead of providing a shelter for the poor girl, they unintentionally set the stage for Romina’s murder.

    Paying attention to the above two issues will not diminish the cruelty and ugliness of a father who most violently kills his teenage child. Basically, the main culprit in this tragedy is Roman’s father, but the punishment that is currently being given to him has nothing to do with the seriousness of his crime.

    Consequences of Child Marriage and its Relation to Honor Killing

    Although child marriage is inherently barbaric and unjust, the social consequences of this phenomenon, which we have witnessed over the forty years of the Islamic Republic’s life, are that it provides grounds for such abuses as:

    1- Justifying the maturity of underaged girls in Iran, in spite of the fact that in many countries, 18 is the customary and rational minimum age for marriage. This has caused old and wealthy men to give themselves the right to marry girls who are practically as young as their children or grandchildren. Although the predominant reason for accepting such marriages is financial hardship due to extreme poverty in the young girl’s family, the father’s ownership of the young girl’s existence, which stems from religious beliefs or ethnic rules, should not be overlooked; it is cultural poverty added to economic poverty. But the institutionalization of child marriage has caused the ugliness of the age difference between rich and influential old men and very young girls to appear common and become the norm.

    2- Due to the lack of serious laws to protect underage girls and the weakness of counseling and social relief institutions in Iran, which are mostly done under Behzisti (welfare) Organization, child marriage has exacerbated the situation for adolescent girls with psychological problems or emotional vacuum. What gave the 26-year-old Bahman Khavari the audacity to start an emotional relationship with a 12-year-old girl and to consider himself her boyfriend is the normalization of child marriage in deprived areas of Iran. When asked about his role in the tragedy of the death of a little girl, he implied his innocence and asked self-righteously: “It is not a crime when a rich 70-year-old man marries a 20-year-old girl, then why is my love for this girl and wanting to save her a crime?”

    While the laws of the Islamic Republic have left unfortunate Romania’s boyfriend free and in peace, the non-Islamic but humane laws in the West would consider any relationship of this kind with an underaged girl a serious and prosecutable crime.

    3. Some of the so-called honor killings that occur in Iran are rooted in child marriage. Consider this situation: after years of living together, a girl who was forced to marry an old man is now an adult and sees that her life and youth are lost; she gets involved in a relationship that, though not legitimate, is commonplace and instinctive. Under such circumstances, the Islamic Republic’s regressive rules allow maximum punishment to an elderly man whose wife has betrayed him without rooting out the behavior of a woman who was forcibly married off as a child.

    Honor Killing and Regressive Laws

    Unfortunately, some medieval laws of the Islamic Republic, allow men to treat their daughters or sisters in a possessive manner. In other words, in many traditional families, women are stuck in a hollow prejudice called ‘honor’ and do not have a haven and freedom of choice. Such phenomena lead men to believe that women are their absolute property after marriage. The problem is compounded by the fact that the Islamic laws of the judicial system also legitimize patriarchal behavior.

    Article 220 of the Islamic Penal Code stipulates that the father will not face the death penalty for the murder of his child but merely pays blood money. Not only does the law itself exempt most perpetrators of “honor killing” from heavy penalties, but it also gives others the audacity to justify their violent behavior on account of the family’s honor. This has been one of the reasons for the rising rate of such killings in Iran.

    According to published reports in Iran, about 50 percent of all domestic homicides are related to honorkilling, which accounts for 20 percent of all homicides. The main factors that led to the tragedy of Romina’s murder are as follows:

    1- The best evidence of the medieval laws of the Islamic Republic is the text of Article 220 of the Islamic Penal Code and the violent behavior of the Islamic Republic with critics of such laws. The government’s response to the double censorship of Kianoosh Ayari’s The Paternal House last November and the prosecution of its production crew are further evidence of this claim.

    2. A father whose religious bigotry or traditional dogmatism silenced the voice of his young child with ISIS-like brutality in order to prevent a scandal that was echoed by those around him.

    3. A man who abused the pure feelings of a young girl and contributed to her death and is now resorting to the empty claim that the only reason Romina’s father opposed their marriage was his status as a “Sunni” and not his age.

    4. Given the traditional and religious context of the Romina’s family and those around them in areas of zealous devotion to honor, the judge and the police officer had to anticipate what dire fate awaits Romina, but ignored the girl’s supplication and handed her over to a backward and archaic father.
    Death to Islam of Khamanie and all mullahs in IRAN. Please sent it to Jihad Watch our beloved Spencer.

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